Yoku Iwareta: I Get That A Lot.

良く言われた

I’m going to continue to present some of the oddball things in language. One is “yoku iwareru” (or iwareta, past tense) for “I get that a lot.” I’m not kidding: that’s exactly how it should be read.

Literally, it means “I’m told that a lot” (or past tense: I’ve been told that a lot). The last time this came up, I was watching the TV version of Hellsing (another overdue project). A very tall, regenerates-from-nearly-everything vampire-hunting priest finds out that he didn’t actually kill the high-end vampire he’s fighting (who’s actually on the good side here…

Priest: Bakemono! (lit. monster)

Vampire: Yoku iwareta. De wa, omae wa nanda, hito ka?

So to show off the last sentence, first, it starts with the “I get that a lot.” i.e. being called a monster. (Um, yes, I imagine so.) The rest is easy enough when explained.

De wa: Reflective change of topic.

Omae: Rude, direct 2nd person pronoun (i.e. “you”)

Wa: The usual particle. Because “de wa” indicates a change in subject, it doesn’t take away “wa” ‘s usual indication of the subject (= “omae”)

Nanda: “What?” Simple as that – it’s a question for “what?”. However, the question isn’t complete so the particle got bumped to the end (its proper place).

Hito: Person.

Ka: The “ka” particle asking a question.

Putting it together:

Vampire: I get that a lot. So, what are you, a person?

(Remember the priest can regenerate from virtually any injury so it’s a valid point.)

Since English doesn’t work so well with the past tense, I converted it to present tense for readability purposes. – J

J Sensei

About J Sensei

Blogger, writer, linguist, former Japanese> English translator, rusty in French, experienced in Japanese, fluent English native. Writing for Technorati.com and various blogs. Skype: jeremiah.bourque (messages always welcome). E-mail: [email protected]
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